Adherence to child feeding practices and child growth: a retrospective cohort analysis in Cambodia

Somphos Vicheth Som, Marinka Van Der Hoeven, Arnaud Laillou, Etienne Poirot, Theary Chan, Katja Polman, Maiza Campos Ponce, Frank T Wieringa

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    Abstract

    Appropriate feeding in the first 1000 days of a child's life is critical for their health and growth. We determined associations between adherence to age-appropriate feeding practices and child growth in Cambodia. Children (n = 1079) were included in the first follow-up (FU) data analyses and followed for 30 months (six FUs). Data were analyzed by generalized linear mixed-effect models. Children who adhered to feeding practices on at least three FUs, with an adequate minimal dietary diversity (MDD), a minimal acceptable diet (MAD), and age-appropriate daily feeding (ADF) were less stunted (14.8%, 12.3%, and 6.4%, respectively) than children who never adhered to these indicators (25.2%, 30.1%, and 24.8%, respectively). A higher adherence to MDD and ADF was associated with a higher height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) (β: 0.13, 95% CI: 0.01-0.25 and β: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.22-0.50), while a higher adherence to the MDD and MAD was associated with a higher weight-for-height Z-score (WHZ) (β: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.08-0.30; and β: 0.16, 95% CI: 0.05-0.27). A higher adherence to a minimum meal frequency (MMF) was associated with a lower HAZ (β: -0.99, 95% CI: -1.28--0.70). Our findings showed that to reduce wasting and stunting in Cambodia, interventions should focus on improving both the quality and quantity of food intake of children under two while targeting the whole complementary feeding period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number137
    JournalNutrients
    Volume13
    Issue number1
    Number of pages16
    ISSN2072-6643
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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